Umina vs Barnstoneworth D South Match Report

Missing some key players and with few reserves, Barnstoneworth turned up to Oval 2 (or was it Oval 1?) at Umina with no great expectations. This turned out to be a prescient attitude as the afternoon wore on.

Umina are clearly a team who have played together for a long time. They call each other’s passes, the passes stick, they pass again, and within a few plays they are bearing down on the defenders’ goal.

This was the pattern for the entire first half, during which Barnstoneworth got hold of the ball plenty of times, but always in their own half and reduced to long clearing kicks, which went almost invariably to the feet of, you guessed it, a Umina player.

From the sideline it seemed that Umina had all the time in the world – Barnstoneworth were standing off, jockeying, and letting them pass at will, with few challenges for the ball, and very little physicality. When a Barnstoneworth player was sent a pass, they waited for it rather than running on to it, with the frequent result that a Umina player intercepted and took off with it. This was especially evident on throw-ins, where one of the Umina backs charged in and headed away the ball at least four times.

On the few occasions when the ball made it to the front, Tom and Andy found themselves under tremendous pressure from a determined and organised set of Umina backs, whose swarm defence was reminiscent of the Luftwaffe attacking a lone Lancaster bomber.

In goals, Simon was busy blocking, knocking and charging as usual, and despite their stand-offish approach and inability to score, Barnstoneworth managed to do enough to keep Umina to a single goal in the first half, and that one came when the ball bounced inadvertently off Adam’s knee and into a Umina player.
One down at half-time, a few positional changes were made, Will going up into striker for only the third time in his soccer career, and Tom coming back into the centres. All was to no avail though, as within a few minutes of the starting whistle, the Umina number 8 received the ball from a superb series of unchallenged passes through the centre, and charged in to nail a goal.

This began a relentless rhythm of scoring that made the second 40 a genuine trial for the Barnstoneworth side, who were simply outclassed by a highly-organised Umina side.

All was not doom and gloom though. A charge from Tom down the left flank produced a corner, that he curved in over the goalmouth and dropped directly at Will’s feet, who shivvied it over the goal line in a state of disbelief, only to have the celebration of his first-ever goal shattered by the ref’s call that “”The ball went out”.

In the last twenty, several charges down the left from Andy were snuffed out by the Umina defence, and a series of determined attacks from Adam through the centre resulted in several shots over and wide of the net. Meanwhile, the backs were kept busy by continuous assaults from every angle as Umina began to run riot in the centre.

In one notably tenacious piece of defence at the goalmouth, Chris found himself on the receiving end of a ball from Luke’s boot that was delivered with a fullback’s “I’m clearing for touch from behind my own goal-line” power, delivered direct to the head at about a metre’s range. Cue cross-eyed cartoon figure with stars swirling around his head. Ouch!!

The last two goals Umina scored were shoo-ins that should never have happened, but Barnstoneworth were exhausted, dispirited, demoralised and their plumbeous feet weren’t up to the task.

This was a game that, in the balance at half time, was incontrovertibly lost in the second. At times it seemed as if Barnstoneworth were playing for Umina, so unerringly did we pass the ball to their players.

More mental toughness, aggression on the ball and deliberation in passing will be needed against Wyoming.

Final result: Umina 6 – 0 Barnstoneworth.

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